#4 seed Loyola (23-7) (66) vs. #5 seed Bradley (17-14) (50)
First Half Highlights
After early ties at 6 and 8, Loyola broke out with nine points in a row for a 17-8 edge with Lucas Williamson hitting a three and a two as Loyola hit five of its first six tries from the floor. The Ramblers got their first 10-point edge at 20-10 and moved in front by a dozen at 26-14. Tate Hall and Tom Welch kept scoring and a basket by Ben Schweiger pushed the Loyola advantage to 34-19. Ahead 40-24 after a free throw by Brandon Norris, Loyola got a late surge as Norris scored and then a steal and a bast break layup by Willliamson made it 44-24 with a minute left in the half. Bradley cashed a three in the final minute to get its deficit down to 17 at the break. The fast break was a key for the Ramblers before the intermission as they outscored Bradley 15-0 on fast break points. Bradley led by 2 and 4 points at halftime in the two previous meetings between the teams, with those two games being split. Today was the third time this season Bradley has trailed by double digits at halftime and the eighth time Loyola has led by more than 10 at the break.
Second Half Highlights
Terry Roberts scored and brought Bradley back within 15 at 44-29 after a scoreless first two minutes in the half. The scoring pace slowed considerably after the break as the teams went over two minutes without scoring and Bradley later had a five-minute stretch without a goal. Williamson got a trey with 12:20 to play pushing the Loyola lead above 20 at 53-32. Bradley had a 5-0 run to close within 16 at 57-41 but scoring by Williamson and Marquise Kennedy pushed the lead back to 64-43 at the four-minute mark. Loyola cleared its bench for the final two minutes as Bradley clawed its way back to the final 16-point deficit at 66-50. Bradley was near its season lowest field goal percentage.